Many experts agree that there is no sure way to stop identity theft but there are steps that can be taken to reduce the chances of it happening. While many criminals have turned to the electronic media as the easiest way to obtain personal information, many of the methods used to stop identity theft before the use of the internet are still required to limit the availability of the information. In the past, digging through trashcans was considered the thief’s most popular method of stealing information, but computers have made their job so much easier.
In order to stop identity theft people must take on the attitude that their personal information, such as name, social security number and driver license information are the most valuable assets they have. With this information I hand, it is easy to assume someone else’s identity and take control over their life. They can obtain a new social security card and file for address changes, insuring it will take longer for the theft to become apparent.
Consistently checking a person’s credit history can also help stop identity theft. Attempts to open new accounts in their name will be revealed and the credit bureaus can put a hold on a person’s access to credit information, providing they can prove they are whom they say they are, and show they want to do this to help stop identity theft.
Keeping Personal Information Private
One of the best ways to protect against identity theft is to understand the value of the information. Many people conduct business online and presume that companies are safeguarding their personal information. With many online companies taking stringent steps to protect their customer’s privacy and stop identity theft, criminals are turning to methods that often result in the individual revealing their information willingly.
Phishing is a common scam among crooks with which they send an email to a person that looks like an official notification from their financial institution. They may even say they are working with them to stop identity theft and include a link to their security site to help access the site for security purposes. However, instead of helping the customer stop identity theft, they are actually looking for account information, including passwords, with which to drain their account.
People should never give their personal information on a site included in an email nor over the telephone. Just because someone calls and claims they need to verify information does not make it a legitimate call. In order to stop identity theft everyone needs to guard their personal information with their life as it is their financial life that is at stake.